• Last modified 782 days ago (May 26, 2022)


This article was submitted for an essay contest sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars. Derek Harms just finished sixth grade at Centre Junior High. His essay won first place at regional and state levels and placed in the top five nationally

Centre sixth grader

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

— Harry S. Truman

President Truman’s words help us see how we can all be good Americans. I can be a good American with the courage to speak, imagination to solve problems, and lots of determination to get my things done and have no procrastination.


Part of being a good American is by having courage. One way to have courage is to speak up for something you believe in. You can also stick up for yourself and to your friends about something they did or did not do. A way to speak up for what you believe in is to be true to you and everybody else. Also, a way to stick up for yourself or your friends is getting to know you or your friends better to get them to trust you more to know if they did or did not do something.


You can use your imagination by thinking about how to solve problems in your neighborhood. Another way you can use your imagination is to think about how you can help other people. You can also use your imagination by thinking about what types of community service you can do in your neighborhood like planting trees or mowing people’s lawns.


You can use your determination by doing what you want or need to do. You can even use imagination to help you think about what you want or need to do. An example of having determination is by doing your homework or doing all of the missing work you need to do when you are gone from school or work for a couple of days.

Productive member of society 

Another good way I can be a good American is by getting a job when I am older so I can help people with what job I get. Or you can just be a productive member of society. 


The conclusion is that to be a good American is to have courage, imagination, determination, and be a productive member of society.

Last modified May 26, 2022